We batted with intent: Guptill
Bengaluru, Aug 31: After being walloped by the Indian spinners in Hyderabad, the New Zealand batsmen vowed to come out with a lot more intent in the second Test. The score at the end of Day 1 at Bengaluru shows they kept that promise. While their skipper, Ross Taylor, led from the front with an attacking century, it was opening batsman Martin Guptill’s knock of 53 runs that set the tempo for the Kiwi innings.
In a post-day interaction with the media, Guptill revealed the team’s plan of putting the Indian bowlers under pressure by attacking them up front, and hence forcing bad balls out of them.
On his knock
We always had the intent to come out and play positively, whether we defend or attack. I was lucky enough to get a few loose balls today and I was able to put them over the boundary.
On not converting a good start into a 100
It’s a little bit frustrating. But that’s the way cricket goes. Sometimes you can get going and get a big score and other times you get out when you’re half way there. It is frustrating and something that I’m really trying to rectify in the next few Test matches.
On whether this wicket didn’t have the kind of disconcerting bounce that the Hyderabad wicket had
Yes, definitely a different wicket here. There’s not as much turn and bounce for the spinners. With a positive intent, we made use of a different wicket and a different surface. It’s good once the batter gets set in, as we saw Ross get that big innings there.
On the type of strokes they planned to play
We always wanted to come out with a bit of positive intent. We got some bad balls and also Ross made some strides with his footwork. And when you’re doing that, you’re putting pressure on the bowlers and get bad balls. We were lucky enough to get a few today, and put them to the fence.
On Pragyan Ojha opening the bowling
I was a little surprised, to be honest. I was expecting to face Zaheer [Khan] first up, but I thought I got through reasonably well; had a couple of interesting balls early on. Yes, I got through it well, and it was a nice challenge to have got first up.
On aggressive play costing NZ six wickets
When you play positively like that, you’re always going to be giving chances. Today, we got away with a few and also we didn’t as well. That’s the way cricket goes. But we are in a position to set a big first innings total tomorrow morning.
Was Indian bowling below par as compared to Hyderabad
There were a few of those balls today, which we were able to put away and put pressure on them [Indian bowlers]. There were just a few more bad balls. Our positive intent was always going to put pressure on them; we did that quite well today.
On the shot selection that resulted in wickets
[With] myself, it was just an execution error [with the shot]. The ball was in my zone to go straight and I didn’t quite get it right, and that happens in cricket. I understand with [James] Franklin, he didn’t quite get it in the middle either; a bit of a leading edge.
On how he sees the Test developing from here
It’s going to be interesting, if we can go out tomorrow and keep our positive intent up. Hopefully, we can get up to the 400-450 mark and put a bit of pressure on India. And if our bowlers get a bit of swing and a bit of seam movement off this wicket, then hopefully, we can exploit that.
On Ross Taylor’s innings’ impact on the dressing room
When a player like Ross starts going like that, it makes it a lot easier on the other batsmen; it takes a bit of pressure off them. Ross is a world-class player and some of the shots he played today were really special.
On whether there was a meeting regarding the positive intent displayed here prior to the Test
Yeah, we had a meeting as a batting group and said we want to have a positive intent. And I think we executed that quite well today, and we put up a very good first day for us.
On the best way to tackle spin – sweeping or coming down the wicket
Each player is different; they score their runs off spin differently. Ross and Daniel [Flynn] are very good sweepers of the ball. You sometimes miss one while sweeping; it’s just one of those things that happens in cricket. So, I don’t really think they should go in their shells or anything. They’ve played very well, and hopefully, they’ll continue to do that.